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Nike Adds Details to NXN Announcement

90 individuals total will qualify for NXN Championship in Portland

Tuesday, May 23, 2008

(press release)

For the first time in history, a single race—Nike Cross Nationals—will crown both individual and team national champions for high-school-aged runners.

BEAVERTON, ORE. (May 13, 2008) –Nike today announced that its Nike Team Nationals (NTN) team cross-country championship will expand this year to include individuals, becoming Nike Cross Nationals (NXN).  The Nike Team Nationals event, which began in 2004, featured the 22 best teams of each gender selected via a series of regional qualifying events.  This year, the top 22 teams will be joined by the 90 fastest individuals from non-qualifying teams.  Nike Cross Nationals is the only national cross-country championship for both teams and individuals.

“Nike Cross Nationals is going to be the ultimate competition for high school cross country,” said Ken Dice, vice president of the Nike USA Brand. “It’s true cross country, and a true national championship.  We’re inviting the best runners in the country, whether they compete individually or as part of a team. Nike Cross Nationals is going to take cross country to a whole new level of competition for these elite athletes.”

The teams and individuals competing in Nike Cross Nationals are selected through a series of regional qualifying events.  The nine regions represented are: Heartland, Midwest, Northwest, Southwest, South, Northeast, Southeast, California and New York.  There are also four at-large teams.

Two-time Olympian Dathan Ritzenhein said, “The opportunity to compete both as one and as a team can’t be understated. Until now, there hasn’t been one event, one day, to award the national individual and team champions in the sport.” Ritzenhein has been involved with NTN since its inception, and has won individual cross country titles in high school while competing with a nationally ranked team. He added, “Everyone participating in Nike Cross Nationals will have the experience of a lifetime. I’m a little jealous Nike Cross Nationals didn’t exist when I was that age--I would have loved to have run in it.” 

In the regional qualifying events, slated to begin in November, the two top teams and the top five individuals of each gender who are not on a team will advance to Nike Cross Nationals.  The championship meet of Nike Cross Nationals will be held in Portland, Ore. on Saturday, Dec. 6, 2008.

About Nike Cross Nationals
The Nike Cross Nationals is a part of the larger Nike Nationals championship series which includes the Nike Outdoor Nationals and Nike Indoor Nationals. The series of events was established in 2004 to help strengthen the national circuit for cross country and track and field competition. Following in the tradition of European cross country meets, the event will again feature a multiple loop race course with man-made obstacles built on the inside of the horse race track at Portland Meadows in Oregon. Spectators can enjoy a continuous live view of the race from the venue’s enclosed 3,000-seat grandstand. Again this year the Nike Cross National event is providing coaches handheld computer devices, utilizing FinishLynx tracking technology (created specifically for Nike Team Nationals, now Nike Cross Nationals), to see team scores posted to a live leader board every kilometer.  The technology was first introduced in the races’ inaugural year and provides instant feedback on a teams' position in the race.  In addition to real-time race tracking, event data is then transferred to live to www.nikecrossnationals.com following the completion of the race so spectators, participants and coach can replay the race of select teams and/or individuals exactly how it was run.

About Nike
NIKE, Inc. based near Beaverton, Oregon, is the world's leading designer, marketer and distributor of authentic athletic footwear, apparel, equipment and accessories for a wide variety of sports and fitness activities. Wholly owned Nike subsidiaries include Converse Inc., which designs, markets and distributes athletic footwear, apparel and accessories; Cole Haan Holdings Incorporated, which designs, markets and distributes luxury shoes, handbags, accessories and coats; Umbro Ltd., a leading United Kingdom-based global football (soccer) brand; and Hurley International LLC, which designs, markets and distributes action sports and youth lifestyle footwear, apparel and accessories. For more information, visit www.nikebiz.com.


Notes on the format and more ...

By SteveU

Details regarding individual qualifying were not included in the press release, but meet officials say top individuals and teams will race together in each region race, with the top five individuals not on the qualifying teams advancing as individuals.

There will continue to be additional races (open, JV) at each region site in addition to the championship race. Numbers of individuals and teams in each championship race will be determined by the national and regional meet organizers and directors, in accordance with the capacity of the course, but organizers made it clear that the true contenders for national berths will all have a chance to be on the championship starting line.

Some of the details of qualifying from California, which doesn’t have a region race per se, are being worked out.

The regional qualifying events will take place in November, according to the schedule below (reported from insidenikerunning.nike.com. Other changes, announced earlier, include realignment of some regions (Wisconsin from Midwest to Heartland, and Missouri from Heartland to Midwest) and moving the Southeast region from Hoover AL to Cary NC. It is also rumored that a new course for the Southwest Region race in the Tempe area is being researched.

More coming from DyeStat on the changing national landscape and comments from coaches.

NXC Region Schedule

Terre Haute, IN

Boise, ID

Sioux Falls, SD

Tempe, AZ

The Woodlands, TX

Wappingers Falls, NY

New York
Wappinger Falls, NY

Cary, NC


NTN to become NXN
2008 Nike Team Nationals will become NXN (Nike Cross Nationals) to reflect format changes including adding individuals.

(original April 25, 2008 announcement)

by John Dye

DyeStat has learned that individual championships will be added to the 2008 Nike Cross Nationals (formerly Nike Team Nationals). This is one of several format changes to be announced by Nike next week.

Other changes include realignment of some regions (Wisconsin from Midwest to Heartland and Missouri from Heartland to Midwest) and moving the Southeast region from Hoover AL to Cary NC.

Adding an individual element in the fifth Nike cross country national championship meet adds to the competition with the older Foot Locker individual cross country championships. Although the two nationals have been held on different weekends in December, some of the regionals will likely be on the same weekend.